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By Chad Austin
When university employees step out to participate in the many activities during next week's Employee Appreciation Week, campus officials hope they'll also be "Stepping Up to Better Health."
That's the theme of this year's NC State Employee Appreciation Week event, which runs March 3 to 7 with a host of activities for campus workers that blend fun and fitness.
So if you've wanted to try a fitness class or check out the new Carmichael Recreation Center, you can do both for free next week. Employee Appreciation Week kicks off with a free yoga class at noon on Monday and a Pilates class at noon on Wednesday. The Carmichael Complex is also offering employees a free one-week membership pass, which can be printed by clicking here.
|University employees can interact with a number of campus vendors during the Benefits and Wellness Fair as part of Employee Appreciation Week.|
Several popular events from the past are once again scheduled for this year's event, including the photography contest, the fun run/walk and a blood drive. New events on tap for this year include classes covering the basics of digital photography and golf, which event organizers hope will promote a more comprehensive idea of health and well being.
"We are trying to help employees realize that wellness is more than just working out every day," says Rob Stevenson, who works in the human resources department on campus and organizes the annual employee appreciation event. "Wellness could involve Pilates, golf or taking photos on a nature walk. There are a lot of different options out there for employees to promote better health, and many of them are available on campus."
Two events expected to draw large crowds during the week are the Employee Appreciation Day Carnival on Tuesday and the Benefits and Wellness Fair on Thursday. In past years, the carnival and benefits fair were held at the same time, but organizers separated the events this year in hopes that employees can see and do more if activities were spread over two days.
"It seemed like there was just too much to offer on just one day," Stevenson says. "Hopefully employees will be able to participate in both events."
Tuesday's Employee Appreciation Day Carnival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Talley Student Center and includes free food, drinks and entertainment, such as karaoke and caricature drawings.
Thursday's Benefits and Wellness Fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McKimmon Center and features free health screenings, chair massages, information booths from campus organizations and benefits vendors and door prizes.
"On Tuesday, we're going to feed them ice cream, cotton candy and popcorn, and then on Thursday, we're going to tell them why they shouldn't have eaten all that," Stevenson says.
Other highlights of the week include a special Employee Appreciation Week sale at the NC State Bookstores next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with merchandise discounted from 40 to 75 percent. The Carolina Hurricanes are also offering discounted tickets to university employees for next Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Wild.
"A lot of different groups have jumped in and decided they want to show their appreciation for our employees this year," Stevenson says.
For a complete schedule of activities, or to register in advance for the classes, fun run or blood drive, visit the Employee Appreciation Week Web site.